Roy Jones Jr has admitted he was impressed when he first saw the short training clips Mike Tyson posted to social media earlier this summer.
The 54-year-old former undisputed heavyweight champion â who has not fought since being stopped in six rounds by Kevin McBride in 2015 â will face Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition bout in Los Angeles on September 12.
“I thought, ‘wow, Mike is still just as explosive as everâ,” the 51-year-old Jones Jr said to ESPNâs First Take on Tuesday. “Mike is still just as dangerous as ever. The only thing about it is, you’ve been out of this sport for so long, it’ll be hard for him to go a full 12-round bout and sustain this.
“Yet he’s still good, he has his speed, he still has his power, he’s still highly explosive, so he’s still a dangerous guy. It’s going to be dangerous for all eight rounds. You’ve got to be ready to protect yourself because that’s Mike Tyson.”
Jones Jr, who last fought two years ago, said the reason he took the fight was to provide entertainment to the fans at a time when the global coronavirus pandemic has put many sports on indefinite hold.
“We want to give people entertainment,” he said. “When you have two of the most entertaining fighters of the decade in the ring together, then it has to be entertaining. And I think Mike can say the same thing.
âWe are willing to risk our health at a time like this, not only for the charitable part of it but to also give people entertainment at a time people don’t have entertainment.”
Jones Jr says he is expecting the unexpected against Tyson.
“Because you’re dealing with Mike Tyson, you’re at the mercy of Mike Tyson,â he said.
âIf Mike decides to turn it on for five seconds, who’s going to save you? Nobody. So you better be ready to save yourself. You better be ready for it.
âYou don’t know what Mike might do. You don’t know which Mike might come. Mike might get mad because he can’t hit you like he wants to.
“Anything can happen, so I have to be 100% ready.”